7 Types of Shoplifters You Need to Look Out For!

November 8, 2023    criminaldefencelawyersperthwa
7 Types of Shoplifters You Need to Look Out For!

Shoplifting is a matter of concern that will majorly impact any business. It comes up with a major financial and operational challenge for the retailers. You might have encountered quite a few instances of shoplifting in various countries and even Australia, however, the burning question here is what is the ‘reason for shoplifting?’

Shoplifting results in substantial revenue loss for businesses. The losses affect the business base, leading to higher prices for consumers and potential job cuts in the industry. Retailers must invest in surveillance cameras, electronic tags, and security personnel to deter potential shoplifters.

The additional costs are used to increase the overall business expenses and divert resources used for purposes like employee training and product development. On that note, it becomes imperative to understand the nature and type of shoplifters. Let’s check out this article for more information:

1. The Amateur Opportunist

An amateur opportunist is a person who lacks experience and expertise in a certain field and tries to take advantage of every available opportunity that comes their way. They exhibit characteristics and behaviors that you can identify easily. It would be best if you noticed the following factors before making any move:

  • Overpromising and under-delivering are one of the main traits.
  • You must consider that they need more attention to detail. This results in several mistakes and errors, which can be easily solved with proper preparation.
  • The opportunists come up with a need for more professionalism and accountability. They may not take the opportunities seriously and often get caught in the process.

2. The Professional Thief

Shoplifting is a serious crime with major financial and emotional consequences for every business, regardless of size. Store owners and employees must identify the signs of an experienced shoplifter to avoid thefts and protect their brand.

One of the most common signs is when someone looks around and checks the surveillance cameras and store personnel. Another sign is when the person enters fitting rooms with several items, which allows them to remove the security tags and take the stolen items. Individuals who wear oversized and baggy clothes can steal something.
You should take proactive measures to avoid theft and maintain a secure customer shopping environment. ‘If you are dealing with the police, the overall incident must be told to them.

3. The Impulsive Shoplifter

The impulsive shoplifter is a person who gets involved in theft without premeditation and planning. The behavior is because of several psychological factors.

One of the popular elements is the desire for instant gratification. The impulsive shoplifters experience the rush of excitement and thrill when they successfully get hold of an item. This reward offers them a temporary sense of satisfaction and power.

Several shoplifters do these things to cope with negative emotions and stress. The act of stealing is a distraction or a way to regain control. You must know about impulsive theft psychology to inform prevention strategies and interventions for addressing these behaviors.

4. The Employee Thief

Internal theft in a company is considered a major concern for every employee. Certain steps should be taken to prevent employees from doing such tasks. You can do this by following strict security measures, like installing security cameras at certain positions. This helps to deter the employees from getting involved in these crimes.
You must conduct regular audits and inventory checks to help identify the discrepancies and avoid theft from going unnoticed. Employers can reduce the chances heavily when proactive and cautious in the office.

5. The Organized Retail Crime Group

One of the growing concerns in the retail sector is organised retail crime groups. The groups are highly skilled and operate with precision. Retailers must know their tactics like the following.

  • Booster bagging is a technique that the groups use. They use lined bags and clothing to conceal the stolen merchandise, effectively removing the security measures.
  • Pushout theft is another technique used by the groups where the members work together to distract store employees when they steal the items and quickly exit the stores.

The groups target high-value items that have resale value, like electronics and designer clothing. Retailers must be vigilant and use strong security measures to fight organised shoplifting. You can contact the best theft lawyer in Perth to get their best solutions.

6. The Snatch and Grab Artist

You need to protect the products and services from quick and discreet theft. The individuals are experts to snatch the items and make a quick getaway. This will leave you and the business with nothing but loss.

You need to follow some strategies to protect the products from crafty thieves:

  • The staff should be well-trained and vigilant. They need to notice and have an idea about their surroundings. It would be best to encourage them to watch for any kind of suspicious behaviour like people roaming near high-end products and constantly looking over-the-shoulders.
  • Consider rearranging the store layout and reducing the chances of snatch-and-grab theft. A cashier needs to stay close to the high-value items. This makes it easier for thieves to grab and run if noticed.

7. The Serial Returner

The serial returner is a popular fraud that retailers must be aware of. This occurs when someone returns the items for a refund and store credit without any valid justification. Retailers can protect their bottom line when they detect and address fraudulent returns.

You can easily monitor the return patterns to identify a serial returner. It is considered a red flag when the customer returns the items soon after they have made the purchase. Moreover, retailers must analyse the reasons behind the returns. Fraudulent activity might have happened if the reasons were clear and consistent.


Businesses can reduce the chances of theft and protect their possessions when they know the different types of shoplifters and use effective loss-prevention strategies. Shoplifters result in financial losses and also hamper the overall operations of retailers. Businesses must take effective security measures to fight the issue. Moreover, they can collaborate with law enforcement agencies to reduce the chances of shoplifting.

Top criminal lawyers in Perth must be reached out for their feedback and advice on the misconduct that has occurred, and that’s how store owners and retailers can find the best way to combat shoplifting cases.

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